Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

NCWNZ calls for action to ensure Fracking safety


7 December 2012

Media Release

NCWNZ calls for action to ensure Fracking safety

“On the back of interim findings on hydraulic fracturing by Dr Jan Wright, Parliamentary Commissioner to the Environment, the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is calling for Government action to ensure the safety of this practice,” NCWNZ President Barbara Arnold said today.

Barbara Arnold was referring to a remit passed unanimously at NCWNZ’s biennial conference in October, “that NCWNZ urges the Government to identify and minimise the risk associated with hydraulic fracturing by requiring a regulatory framework based on evidence pertaining to the practice; and to commit to ongoing, independent monitoring of the practice.”

Barbara Arnold said, “Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is already established in New Zealand and the oil and gas industry considers the practice in this country to be exemplary. However it is of concern that, as Dr Wright points out, oil and gas companies “appear to be not only regulating themselves, but monitoring their own performance.” This view is lent weight by a Taranaki Regional Council Report last year which conceded that “the hydraulic fracturing and geological information in this report has largely been supplied by oil and gas companies.”

“There are several potential risk factors associated with fracking. One of these is air quality. While tests of air quality down-wind of flaring activity have so far been reassuring, air contamination can occur from well leakage or from a ‘blow-out’ caused by cement failure. This commonly occurs in the US and Australia. Dr Wright points to cement quality as an essential component of safe well design and construction.

“An independent study by Australia’s National Toxins Network, shows that harm can also be caused by minute quantities of the toxins used in or released by fracking . Research by the Colorado School of Public Health has similarly identified toxic airborne chemicals, some carcinogenic, that are used in fracking,” said Barbara Arnold.

“While it has been suggested that regulators require the most environmentally friendly fluids to be used, companies do not currently disclose the ‘commercially sensitive’ mix of substances deployed. Furthermore, unlike the United Kingdom, New Zealand does not have a well examination scheme.

“Another risk factor is the release during fracking of naturally occurring substances that are potentially more harmful than the fracking fluids themselves.

“A further set of recommendations will be published as part of Dr Wright’s investigation and NCWNZ looks forward to these findings,” Barbara Arnold concluded.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The
America’s Cup

The fact New Zealand now reigns supreme once again in the most sophisticated contest in the world’s most elite sport – yacht racing – can’t help but reflect the trajectory the country has been on since the 1980s...

Elite sport used to feel more like a collective, shared experience. It was our team, composed of people who lived and worked like us. Now, not so much. More>>

 

PM's Press Conference: Red Socks And Secret Tapes

Prime Minister Bill English began his post-cabinet press conference by explaining how well the National Party's annual conference went. He also mentioned today's announcement of changes to the EQC disaster insurance legislation and wished Emirates Team New Zealand well in the America's Cup. More>>

Max Rashbrooke: On How To Make Government More Open

International surveys, while often complimentary, have also pinpointed major weaknesses: political donations are badly regulated, for instance, and appointments to government boards frequently go to those with strong political connections. More>>

In Court: Hamilton Student's Lawsuit Over Climate Change Policy

A law student from Hamilton is preparing to challenge the Government in the High Court on Monday over what she says is a “failure” to properly address climate change. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement. As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog